What is a Friends Group?

It’s an officially recognized non-profit group for Milwaukee County parks that allows us to focus on improving the disc golf course at Madison park. The initial directors are Sean Sweeney, Seth Hill, Christopher Struve, Marnie Struve, and Erich Kegel. You can read about friends groups here: https://parkpeoplemke.org/friends-groups/ 

Why did we start a Friends Group for Madison Park Disc Golf?

We all really like Madison Park and think the layout created by Mark Peterson and crew is great, but it could be one of the best courses in the County with a bit of improvement and upkeep. Unfortunately, after working with the County for months on what was possible and what was in the budget, it became obvious that there is no budget for improving the course, not even really budget for maintaining it. If you want to read about the county parks budget issue, you can see what they have put out about it here: https://county.milwaukee.gov/EN/Board-of-Supervisors/Fair-Deal. We got the list of the current projects slotted for Madison Park over the next 3-5 years, and not one of them related to Disc Golf (and many of the projects planned may not even get funded). So, we decided we needed to try and do something ourselves, and a Friend’s Group is the best way to be able to hold events and raise funds that all go directly (and only) to disc golf improvements. 

How does the Friends Group Work?

Through the Park People, which is a 501(3)(c) Non-profit, our Friends Group also gets non-profit status and official recognition by Milwaukee County. Any and all money raised or donated is managed in an account by the Park People. Any improvement projects have to go through the County’s approval process, but we are more or less free to propose projects that improve the course, and as long as we raise the money to make it happen, it seems the County is on board to support our initiatives. 

What is currently planned?

We are still in the early stages, and we are interested in feedback from all of you (the community of disc golfers) but initial discussions have centered around installing a practice basket near hole 1 for warming up for putting, installing new tee-pads to replace the existing rubber pads which started off great but have not held up and are very uneven and slippery when wet, adding alternate pin locations, installing short tees to make Madison Park inviting for experienced and new disc golfers (particularly trying to appeal to youth disc golfers). This may take years to accomplish, but we will work hard to put on events that can help raise money and foster involvement from the community to see what we can accomplish. 

How can you get involved or help?